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Another busy period for world?s largest distiller. Let?s see, in last week or so Diageo announced $2.2 bil sale of Burger King, consolidation of wine & spirits distrib network to 1 distrib each in little states like NY, Calif, and Fla, and next major RTD intro: Smirnoff Black Ice. Distrib consolidation is just "phase 1" as Diageo calls it, involving about 30% of its volume basically handled by 2 distribs, Southern Wine and Spirits and Peerless. "The consolidation of our brands in these distributors is only the first step in implementing new ways of working with" distribs, wrote prexy Paul Clinton. Doesn?t affect beer and malternatives. And as it intros Smirnoff Black Ice, Diageo takes another crack at getting guys to go for RTDs. Big push in UK this fall, supposedly coming to US too.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2002
  • Volume 4
  • Issue # 39
In memo to all distribs about possible BATF reclassification of malternatives, Miller reassured that "no changes would take effect until 2004 at the earliest." Noted Miller has "long history of a solid working relationship with the BATF" and expects to work together in "constructive manner" to "explore other options." Remember: BATF is thinkin? seriously about reclassifying malternatives as spirits products if more than 0.5% of alcohol comes from spirits flavor rather than malt base. Miller noted too that SKYY Blue is now #24 brand among all malt bevs, ahead of Bacardi Silver, Rolling Rock, Amstel Light, Beck?s and Michelob. Added: in supers malternative category had 8.2 share of dollars for week ended 7/20, ACNielsen data shows. In fact, average share was 7.9-8.3 for 8 wks thru 7/20, Miller spokesperson told INSIGHTS.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2002
  • Volume 4
  • Issue # 40
At this morning?s US Court of Appeals hearing on case between FEMSA and Interbrew over integration of Beck?s into Labatt USA, hard to figure where judges going. Recall that District Court granted FEMSA an injunction blocking Beck?s integration back in May. Interbrew atty began by stating that ruling based on ?egregious errors of law.? He hammered: lower court judge found no ?irreparable harm? other than loss of bargained for minority-right. But one of Appeals judges suggested harm could flow from breach of contract simply by losing ?benefit of having right." If it can?t be enforced, "that right is lost." ?How could you put a monetary value on loss of bargaining power?? another asked. Most senior judge summed up FEMSA position: ?You had a right, you want that right.? Yet judges pressed FEMSA atty too: ?Why can?t the whole transaction be undone later? if no injunction granted but FEMSA prevails in its claims? As for money damages, ?heaven knows,? judge added, these are ?deep pockets adversaries.? But FEMSA atty argued: ?The right itself has value, separate and apart from any loss that might occur as a result.? One side told us to expect a decision in no more than 90 days.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2002
  • Volume 4
  • Issue # 40
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